Your Daily NEL: New English Library

Cheap and Nasty Seventies Horror Pulp

Etienne Aubin – The Terror Of The Seven Crypts

Posted by demonik on September 14, 2007

Etienne Aubin – The Terror Of The Seven Crypts (Nel, April 1974)



“Did you actually believe I would trust my secret to trash like you? Fool! Not even scheming Marat … not the pious Robespierre could keep me from what is rightfully mine! MINE – do you hear?

It was my plan to loot the churches, the palaces, the places of art. My idea to make it appear as if the rabble had destroyed everything in the fervour of their precious revolution … All of this belongs to me now. Marcel Fournier! Not to France as the pigs thought.”

At the tail end of the Revolution, Fournier has his ill-gotten treasure trove carted off to the deserted Chateau Deveraux. On his orders Jauvin has poisoned all the workmen who carted the loot through the woods and dumped their bodies in one of the seven vaults. Jauvin has underestimate just how greedy, cruel and insane Fournier really is and winds up buried in a second chamber.
All is going to plan until Fournier’s horse breaks a leg as he rides back to the city (like any sadist worth his salt he leaves it to die in agony by the roadside) and he’s forced to pass through the slums on foot. A young prostitute emerges from a doorway and tries to entice him inside, but after slapping her tits about for a time he gets bored and goes on his way. His pleasure wasn’t on the house. The girl gives a whistle and a mob appears from the shadows. Fournier goes down, the peasants beat him to a pulp and get one of his eyes out and everything.

Bloody Hell! Chapter two has got plenty to live up to.

****

Can this really be the same version of ‘Etienne Aubin’ who wrote the execrable (if must have) Dracula And The Virgins Of The Undead? This one even has a plot.

A group of Royalist fugitives and their servants have taken up refuge in the Chateau, but somebody in a cloak is prowling around. One lady has already been abducted and crushed to death under a spiked grid and all the signs are that a number of minor characters will join her in meeting a grisly end.

The single good eye spat forth its venom. Its hatred for normality.

I’ve finished it now (all 101 pages) and I have to admit, this is without doubt one of my favourite NEL’s.

After the death of Madame Oudry (the aristo who got spiked), dashing Jacques Rolande, gallant officer of the King’s Guard, assumes leadership of the small group. Beautiful young Royalist Derie Planchard (whose “magnificent breasts” get themselves into enough trouble to keep the Globeswatch committee occupied for hours) takes a shine to him and is already planning their futures together when a second member of their party is annihilated. It transpires that in the secret tunnel beneath the Chateau the seven crypts have been booby-trapped and the villain needs bodies to spring each one before he can get to the lovely loot! ‘The Devil Of Paris’ (for it is he) may owe much to the Phantom of the Opera, but he’s a marvellous maniac from the Tod Slaughter school,, an “evilly monstrous” madman, all swishing cape and gloating chuckles. Sure, the dialogue is sub-Jules De Grandin and you know what’s going to happen a few pages before it does, but this would probably make my list of indispensable NEL’s without breaking sweat.



The cover illo had earlier appeared on the front of Kurt Singer’s Ghost Omnibus (Four Square, Nov. 1967)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: